"I have always been an admirer of Frank Williams and his team and am delighted that we have found a good way forward," MWR co-owner Rob Kauffmann said in a statement. “I wish the team well with its move back to the front of the F1 grid and am sure that Mike Coughlan can make a big contribution with that."
Coughlan, a citizen of England, joined MWR in October 2010 as the director of vehicle design. He signed a two-year deal with MWR holding a one-year option, according to the complaint. He told the team in April he was leaving for Williams, and left the team in June, according to the complaint. He is now the chief engineer for Williams.
"We are grateful to Rob for working this problem out with us," Frank Williams said in the statement from MWR. “Waltrip is a super team competing in a fantastic sport – the best thing for me is that as part of the deal I will get to see my first NASCAR race."
Coughlan, a former McLaren engineer, was fired in 2007 and suspended by Formula One for two years when he was found to be in possession of confidential documents belonging to Ferrari. The McLaren team was fined $100 million.
|Did Michael Waltrip really think he could keep Coughlin in NASCAR if he had a chance to return to F1?|
07/17/11 (GMM) NASCAR team Michael Waltrip Racing has commenced legal action against F1's famous British outfit Williams and Mike Coughlan.
After losing his job as McLaren chief designer and departing formula one amid the spygate scandal, Briton Coughlan joined North Carolina-based MWR as director of vehicle design.
He then returned to F1 in June to be Williams' new chief engineer.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Michael Waltrip Racing has filed suit against Coughlan and Williams in the US District Court for breach of contract.
The report said Coughlan had joined MWR with a three-year deal set to run through 2012.
The suit reportedly alleges his move "harmed the performance of the MWR teams as well as their viability in competing for sponsorship", and seeks damages in excess of $75,000 and other compensation.
Another report at nascar.com said the suit alleges Oxfordshire-based Williams "tortiously interfered" with MWR "by negotiating to hire Coughlan while he was still under contract".
07/15/11 Michael Waltrip Racing is suing a former engineer who recently left the organization for a Formula One team before his contract allegedly ran out.
MWR is suing Mike Coughlan and the Williams F1 team in U.S. District Court in Charlotte. It is asking for a unspecified amount in damages for breach of contract and, against Williams, interference with the contract.
Coughlan, a citizen of England, joined MWR in October 2010 as the director of vehicle design. He signed a two-year deal with MWR holding a one-year option, according to the complaint.
He told the team in April he was leaving for Williams, and left the team in June, according to the complaint. He is now the chief engineer for Williams.
Coughlan was responsible for overseeing all design, production, engineering and quality control programs at MWR. The suit alleges that his departure impacted the team's performance, resulting in a loss of prize money and potential sponsorship. Waltrip’s teams have struggled this season with both Martin Truex Jr. (23rd in the standings) and David Reutimann (26th) performing below expectations.
“MWR will face and incur many certain and substantial damages, including the costs of searching for, recruiting, negotiating with, hiring and training a replacement for Coughlan, not to mention the expenses MWR devoted to Coughlan’s employment, the benefits of which will go unrealized," MWR sates in its complaint.
Coughlan was a former McLaren engineer who was fired in 2007 and suspended by Formula One for two years when he was found to be in possession of confidential documents belonging to Ferrari. The team was fined $100 million.
A Michael Waltrip Racing spokesman said the team has no comment on the lawsuit. Scenedaily.com